The Ball at the Registan
The Registan in Samarkhand is where Al Ghorasmi wrote his famous text “Al Jabr”. I feel particularly privileged to have sat where he most probably sat – we now recognise his name as ‘algorithm’ and his book gave us ‘algebra’ – I use these every day of my programming life.
The Ball itself is another mathematical object, named much more recently after R. Buckminster Fuller, another scientific visionary – its basic form is called a Fullerine or a Buckyball. In nature this shape occurs as Carbon 60, a molecular-sized football which can bounce even when travelling at half the speed of light. You can read more about it in this article on soccerballworld.com
Written by Christian Wach on Friday, April 19th, 2002